“The birth-place of Valour, the country of Worth;
Wherever I wander, wherever I rove,
The hills of the Highlands for ever I love.”
Robert Burns (1759-1796)
Happy St Andrew’s Day to all of our family, friends and followers. St Andrew is Scotland’s patron saint but who was he?
Andrew was a Galilean fisherman before he and his brother Simon Peter became disciples of Jesus. He was crucified by the Romans on an X-shaped cross at Patras in Greece – his remains were later moved to Constantinople then Amalfi. Legend has it that a Greek monk, St Rule, had a vision where he was ordered to take a few relics of Andrew (a tooth, a kneecap, arm and finger bones) to the ‘ends of the earth’ for safe keeping. St Rule’s journey by sea eventually brought him to Fife at a settlement that eventually became St Andrews.
In 832 AD Andrew is said to have appeared in a vision to a Pictish King the night before a battle against the Northumbrians. On the day of the battle a saltire, an X-shaped cross, appeared in the sky above the battlefield and the Picts were victorious – the saltire, or St Andrew’s Cross eventually became the national flag of Scotland.
Andrew was first recognised as an official patron saint of Scotland in 1320 at the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath. Scotland shares St Andrew as a patron saint with Barbados, Greece, Romania & Russia.